The secret Ska history of Stamford Hill by Malcolm Imrie

Stamford Hill is right at the northern end of the London Borough of Hackney, bordering Haringey/Tottenham. I’ve lived around there for about 15 years now and have always had an interest in its history. Last May, Richie (Maharishi Hi-Fi / Musical Fever) hosted another one of his excellent nights, this time at the Mascara Bar …

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Bars For Change: who polices the police?

I wrote quite a lot about UK policing earlier in the year in relation to the failure of policing (at best) that lead to the death of Smiley Culture. News about that case was always going to ebb and flow, not least because it is now in the bureaucratic hands of the Independent Police Complaints …

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Having a bashment party

Carnival warm up time in London town! Check out these events in the next few weeks: First up some sweet FREE madness in Kings Cross organised by Whydelila and The Large. Great line up with foundation UK dancehall represented by Saxon and a more contemporary take on those sounds by the man like Wrongtom amongst …

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Pauline Black and “2-Tone London” at Housmans

This just in from Nik at Housmans – sounds good, but I’m not too sure about the claim that Pauline was “the only woman in a movement dominated by men”. What about The Bodysnatchers, an all-girl band on the Two Tone label? The group included Rhoda Dakar, whose harrowing solo-single “The Boiler” I’ve written about …

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Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds radio play and interviews

“I dub from inner to outer space. The sound I get out of Black Ark studio, I don’t really get it out of no other studio. It was like a space craft. You could hear the space in the tracks.” Lee Perry Kevin Martin (The Bug, King Midas Sound) and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz, 100% …

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Mix: Shake The Foundations vol 1

  John Eden – Shake The Foundations vol 1 by Johnedenuk on Mixcloud This is the first proper mix I ever did, back in those pre-blog times of 2002. I was interested in tracks that blurred the lines between reggae, dub, electronica and dance music. I still am, but it seems harder to find interesting …

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two new Dancehall books

I’ve reviewed both these books in the new issue of The Wire (with Roy Harper on the front and an ace advert for the new Bug/Soul Jazz bashment riddims comp “Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds on the back). Both books are produced by independent publishers – and are available by clicking on the covers …

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Smiley Culture march and updates

General Impressions on the March The Smiley Culture March for Justice took place the weekend before last and was a resounding success. About 1,500-2,000 people marched from Wandsworth Road to New Scotland Yard in militant but peaceful formation. My marching partner History Is Made At Night has already written his account of the day, so …

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Smiley Culture RIP: Day 26

A slightly odd article by Dr Perry Stanislas has appeared in The Voice entitled “Why We Must Not Rush To Judgement Over Smiley Culture’s Knife Death”. It’s odd because it wastes no time in arguing for the case that David Emmanuel may have killed himself and pouring scorn on others who say he may have …

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